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Victoria Park
Gateshead v Southport
Blue Square Premier League
Saturday, March 30th 2013, 3pm
By Callum Greig
(Gateshead fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Well due to the fact that our pitch is damaged due to faulty drainage and lots of bad weather in the North East we have had to play our 'Home' games at different venues. These have mostly been at Victoria Park, but some others have been held at Blyth, York, Boston (Yes crazy!) and Carlisle. I was and wasn't looking forward to the game knowing what we are like when it comes to important games this was a game that we really needed the three points to take us away from the relagation zone. Southport were also in the danger zone at the time so we really needed the points to get away from them.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey was very easy there, I only live in Peterlee which is about 8 miles away from Hartlepool, car parking was rather poor however and we had to park next to the Hartlepool Marina which was a good 15 minute walk from the ground. There is a Morrisons and a Pub nearby but i've heard they don't take too friendly too people parking there.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Turned up around 2:15pm and walked upto the ground. Did my usual and bought a programme and had some banter with some of the other supporters, we always make match predictions that turn out wrong!. Didn't go to any pubs though however although a few people said the 'Millhouse' pub was very nice, and welcoming towards our fans.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As I've already been to Victoria Park before (I have a friend who supports Hartlepool), I knew what to expect, however it's a overall very nice ground. Our attendances are usually quite low in the 500-700 range and for this game a 35 mile away 'home' trip, They only was 406 people at the game. We were given the Cyril Knowles all seated stand, which holds around 1000 it was a very nice stand, which had plently of leg room and so on. The Southport fans were given the other side of the ground, And they were around 60 of them. I love old style grounds and the Vic is a very nice ground too. It has four standsl An old style terraced stand called the 'Town End' a mixture of terracing and seating called the 'Niramax stand' and a very nice seated end called the 'Rink End' overall its a good ground. Perfect and typical football league ground.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was rather crazy, We had 47 points at the time, And were in 18th place only 1 point away from the Relagation zone, However Southport were also in the same position too, And they had exactly the same points and were 20th. I knew it would be hard game and it was just that, They scored on the 57th and 63th minute and we were very poor, We looked lackluster and tired and didn't deserve anything of the game, We just couldn't get going.... However in the 88th minute 0-2 down one of their players was sent off and we put on a crazy attacking show we scored a goal in the 91st minute and 96 minute of added time to draw 2-2, We were going crazy it was a great feeling. The game itself was poor until the end. I didn't buy any pies however, 
I got some very nice chips at half time for 1.50 they were loads of chips and I actually couldn't eat them all!

The facillites were nice and I am very grateful and Hartlepool lending us their ground for a few home games. The atmosphere was very good. Our Gateshead Stadium features a running track which kind of ruins the atmosphere a lot. The 'Heed Army' were singing away like usual and i've never seen them so happy on the 96 minute. However at the last minute our players and there players (and staff) had a heated exchange and some pushing but nothing serious or major. The stewards were generally relaxed and fine.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground was fine we just had to walk, Back to the marina which took a good 15 minutes. Got a bit abuse from the Southport fans who looked very angry at their team, But I just ignored them, Best way really!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An overall crazy day; playing a 'Home' game 35 miles away from home, And drawing 2-2 after scoring 2 late minute goals, Can't say fairer than that! And even a good pitch brawl at the end.

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